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Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


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The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

February 2017


From ACM Opinion

Listen, Technology Holdouts: Enough Is Enough

Listen, Technology Holdouts: Enough Is Enough

Even as fanatic customers can be counted on to line up outside the Apple store for the latest iPhone, there are still millions of Americans who don't use a smartphone at all.


From ACM Opinion

Hollywood Has No Idea What to Do with Vr

Hollywood Has No Idea What to Do with Vr

Would you watch a virtual-reality Casablanca?


From ACM Opinion

Face It, Meatsack: Pro Gamer Will Be the Only Job Left

Face It, Meatsack: Pro Gamer Will Be the Only Job Left

Look at economic data closely and the trends aren't pretty: People with elite backgrounds are hoovering up an increasing share of new income and wealth.


From ACM Opinion

Crispr Pioneer Muses About Long Journey from China to Pinnacle of American Science

Crispr Pioneer Muses About Long Journey from China to Pinnacle of American Science

Feng Zhang occupies a corner office on the 10th floor of the gleaming, modern biotechnology palace called the Broad Institute.


From ACM Opinion

No, Robots Aren't Killing the American Dream

No, Robots Aren't Killing the American Dream

Defenders of globalization are on solid ground when they criticize President Trump's threats of punitive tariffs and border walls.


From ACM Opinion

The Former Secretary of Defense Outlines the Future of Warfare

The Former Secretary of Defense Outlines the Future of Warfare

To an engineer in Silicon Valley, the Defense Department can look a little old, a little slow, and a little fat.


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Scientist Bringing Gene Editing to Life: An Interview with Jennifer Doudna

Meet the Scientist Bringing Gene Editing to Life: An Interview with Jennifer Doudna

About 10 years ago, scientists at a yogurt laboratory in Denmark noticed a peculiar feature in a bacterial genome.


From ACM Opinion

Talk of Tech Innovation Is Bullsh*t. Shut Up and Get the Work Done, Says Linus Torvalds

Talk of Tech Innovation Is Bullsh*t. Shut Up and Get the Work Done, Says Linus Torvalds

OSLS Linus Torvalds believes the technology industry's celebration of innovation is smug, self-congratulatory, and self-serving.


From ACM Opinion

Texting and Driving Isn't a Millennial Problem. It's an Engineering Problem

Texting and Driving Isn't a Millennial Problem. It's an Engineering Problem

Millennials love their smartphones and refuse to drive without them. No amount of fist shaking or age shaming will fix this problem. Banishing distracted driving demands an engineering solution.


From ACM Opinion

Who Will Be Hurt – and Helped – If U.s. Tech Industry Can't Hire the World's Best Talent?

Who Will Be Hurt – and Helped – If U.s. Tech Industry Can't Hire the World's Best Talent?

The H-1B visa program is a major contributor to U.S. economic growth but is quite bad for domestic computer scientists, according to recently published research.


From ACM Opinion

Hacker Knows Best: Privacy Tips from Kevin Mitnick

Hacker Knows Best: Privacy Tips from Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick knows all the ways your privacy could be violated through your phone, computer and tablet.


From ACM Opinion

Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen — or Ruin Everything

Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen — or Ruin Everything

Congress can address all open questions about robocar technologies and ensure they succeed. Or they can screw it all up.


From ACM Opinion

Will Algorithms Erode Our Decision-Making Skills?

Will Algorithms Erode Our Decision-Making Skills?

Algorithms are embedded into our technological lives, helping accomplish a variety of tasks like making sure that email makes it to your aunt or that you're matched to someone on a dating website who likes the same bands as you…


From ACM Opinion

'drone Bees' Are Comically Inept, Expensive and Dangerous to Real Bees

'drone Bees' Are Comically Inept, Expensive and Dangerous to Real Bees

Bees are in decline in many areas.


From ACM Opinion

The AI Threat Isn't Skynet. It's the End of the Middle Class

The AI Threat Isn't Skynet. It's the End of the Middle Class

In February 1975, a group of geneticists gathered in a tiny town on the central coast of California to decide if their work would bring about the end of the world.


From ACM Opinion

Coming Technology Will Likely Destroy Millions of Jobs. Is Trump Ready?

Coming Technology Will Likely Destroy Millions of Jobs. Is Trump Ready?

American manufacturing job losses to China and Mexico were a major theme of the presidential campaign, and President Trump has followed up on his promise to pressure manufacturers to keep jobs here rather than send them abroad…


From ACM Opinion

What If the Internet Stopped Working For a Day?

What If the Internet Stopped Working For a Day?

Jeff Hancock likes to give his Stanford University students weekend assignments that let them experience concepts discussed in class for themselves.


From ACM Opinion

Why Silicon Valley Wouldn't Work Without Immigrants

Why Silicon Valley Wouldn't Work Without Immigrants

People in tech see something cataclysmic in Mr. Trump executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries: the end of America's standing as a beacon for the world's best inventors.


From ACM Opinion

Lady Gaga's Halftime Show Drones Have a Bright Future

Lady Gaga's Halftime Show Drones Have a Bright Future

The best Super Bowl halftime shows leave indelible memories, be it a notorious wardrobe malfunction, that goofy Left Shark, or every last second of Beyoncé's two appearances.


From ACM Opinion

Why Bill Belichick Cast Down His Tablet

Why Bill Belichick Cast Down His Tablet

As the New England Patriots' 10th appearance in a Super Bowl approaches, sports fans are eager to see the legendary pairing of quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick take on the Atlanta Falcons.


From ACM Opinion

How Trump's Immigration Rules Will Hurt the U.s. Tech Sector

How Trump's Immigration Rules Will Hurt the U.s. Tech Sector

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday issuing a temporary ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, it went into effect immediately. 


From ACM Opinion

Police Could Get Your Location Data Without a Warrant. That Has to End

Police Could Get Your Location Data Without a Warrant. That Has to End

The more we rely on technology, the more detailed a technological footprint we leave behind.


From Communications of the ACM

The Future of the Internet of Things

The Future of the Internet of Things

The IoT can become ubiquitous worldwide — if the pursuit of systemic trustworthiness can overcome the potential risks.


From Communications of the ACM

User-Centric Distributed Solutions For Privacy-Preserving Analytics

User-Centric Distributed Solutions For Privacy-Preserving Analytics

How can cryptography empower users with sensitive data to access large-scale computing platforms in a privacy-preserving manner?


From Communications of the ACM

Fostering Creativity Through Computing

Fostering Creativity Through Computing

How creative thinking tools and computing can be used to support creative human endeavors.


From Communications of the ACM

The Unholy Trinity of Software Development

The Unholy Trinity of Software Development

Tests, documentation, and code.


From Communications of the ACM

Smart Machines Are Not a Threat to Humanity

Smart Machines Are Not a Threat to Humanity

Worrying about machines that are too smart distracts us from the real and present threat from machines that are too dumb.


From Communications of the ACM

AI Dangers: Imagined and Real

AI Dangers

Arguing against the arguments for the concept of the singularity.

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